Energy Dept. pushes for electric-trikes

The old gasoline-driven buggy called the tricycle which is almost half a century old, has to give way to electric-driven environment friendly electric-tricycles because while its boundary rent-to-own rate is higher like P450 a day, the e-trike can also ferry more passengers and cover more routes because of its fuel efficiency.

What is more is that government supports this industry, and would help tricycle operators in its maintenance and parts, and even help dispose of the hold unit which is now very costly to maintain.

This the cost of progress said the officials of the department of energy.

The Department of Energy (DOE) is yet to convince the transport sector in Dumaguete and Negros Oriental including the Local Government Units (LGUs) in line with the introduction of the use of electronic tricycles or E-TRIKES as another mode of transportation in Dumaguete City and other parts of the province.

DOE specialist Federico Domingo said the department has introduced three programs, the E-TRIKE, the auto-LPG program and the natural gas vehicle program.

Lively discussions centered on the E-TRIKE under a rent-to-own scheme, for being introduced in Dumaguete City, that has 2,500 tricycle units already running everyday.

Participants to the multi-sectoral forum on energy sector innovations welcomed the new technology with the use of alternative fuel, except for the rental which is in the form of amortization or daily boundary.

Federation of Dumaguete Motorcab Operators and Drivers Association (FEDUMCODA) president Cecil Yucor said P450.00 per day is too big for them in a small city with 2,500 tricycle units already, aside from a minimum of 50 units of the e-trikes to be added if the city implements the scheme. At present, their boundary is between P250 to P300 a day.

He believes the etrike is not yet feasible in Dumaguete City but is open to new technologies especially on the use of alternative fuel for a safer environment.

Meanwhile, the business sector also expressed doubts as to the capacity of ordinary tricycle driver to pay a higher boundary under the e-trike rent-to-own scheme. The Negros Oriental Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NOCCI) however, likened the concept to getting a housing loan from Pag-ibig, rather than renting a house for life without the possibility of owning the same.

He also said that it would be hard for the operators to shift from the ordinary tricycle to the etrike considering the amount involved. Du said these are among the issues that DOE has to consider.

Domingo explained the boundary is higher by P80 pesos but it has a comprehensive insurance with 5 years warranty and in case of failure to operate, a service unit is available.

Furthermore this the only e-trike that can be registered as a public utility vehicle because it has partnered with Land Transportation Office and the LGU concerned with an additional package of 3-year free registration.

Also included in the contract is the repair and maintenance of the units that are on cluster.

As to e-trikes already operating in the province, any local manufacturer can coordinate with the DOE if their units have passed the standards set by agency.

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